On the Faber front

by Andrew Grochan, Staff Writer

An overwhelming defeat of the proposal to turn Faber Field into artificial turf was delayed by a referendum on Nov. 4 earlier this year.  Leading up to the referendum, which decisively snuffed out any hope for the project by a vote of 2,999 to 1,176, signs could be seen in the yards of many homeowners who supported the project, reading “Vote YES to Faber!”

The fact that no signs to the contrary were on display seemed to show that the field’s future was all but secure.  This, however, was disproven by the nearly 3,000 voters who turned up to stop the referendum in its tracks.

Glen Rock Mayor Van Keuren supports the installation of artificial turf at Faber Field and has said that it was the best solution to the problem of the deterioration of Faber.  Now that it will not happen in its previously proposed form, something must be done to prevent it from becoming utterly unusable in the not-so-distant future.

According to The Bergen Record, a year before the vote Mayor Van Keuren said that he thinks “it’s time to bite the bullet, and consider a provision at Faber for some artificial turf. The need remains and it grows, and I feel if we don’t start something next year, we’re burying our heads in the sand.”

Still, despite urging from the council, who voted 5-1 in favor of the project, many residents do not want to pay another $80 or $90 per year annually in taxes. The total cost of the field is $3 million dollars.

Students of Glen Rock High School generally seem apathetic about the turf situation at Faber because of the new turf fields at the school.

“I just think that it’s a waste. You could probably put the money somewhere else, but it will benefit sports teams and other people who use the field because it would be usable, even in the rain,” said senior Emilie Gosselin.  “They also look better.”

One member of the Rec Advisory Board, who wishes not to be named, wholeheartedly supports the installation of artificial turf at Faber.

“I think that it is beneficial to the future of that field because it will more efficiently disperse excess rainwater that would otherwise turn the field to mush,” he said.

The issue of artificial turf goes beyond fiscal matters; some believe that the crumb rubber, those little black pieces of artificial soil, cause cancer.  If this were to be true, it would have huge implications for all existing turf fields which all use the carcinogenic crumb rubber made from mashed up tires.

The company that provides the crumb rubber denies its reputed carcinogenic effects.